Bachelorette star found dead by castmate

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A former Bachelorette contestant was this week found dead by a co-star on the reality show.

Tavita Karika, a contestant on a season of Bachelorette New Zealand which aired last year, died Thursday evening from causes that have not been publicly revealed, Stuff reported.

The 31-year-old was comforted in his final moments by fellow former cast member Marc Johnson, who confirmed the sad news to Stuff on Friday. 

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“I can confirm that Tavita did pass last night around midnight,” he told the publication. 

“I got there about 10 minutes into the ambulance crew being at the scene, and about 10 to 15 minutes after that they informed us that they cannot help him.

“I was with him in his final moments. There was a lot of family and friends."

Karika had been living in Wellington, where he worked as a personal trainer, model and actor, and had just completed a course to become a barber.

Marc Johnson (right) was with Mr Karika took his final breath Thursday evening. Source: Instagram/marcjohnsonfit
Marc Johnson (right) was with Tavita Karika when he took his final breath. Source: Instagram/marcjohnsonfit

The day beforehand, he cut Mr Johnson's hair as part of a competition called Barber Battle, held the day he finished his apprenticeship. 

"He cut my hair on Wednesday and did such an amazing job and that was the last time I saw him [alive]. He was a good guy and he loved everyone," Mr Johnson said. 

Family members have established a Give a Little fundraising page with the goal of returning Karika's body to his home in Christchurch.

"With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our friend Tavita Antoni Karika," the page read. 

There has been an outpouring of grief following the personal trainer's death. Source: Instagram/tavitakarika
There has been an outpouring of grief following the personal trainer's death. Source: Instagram/tavitakarika

"On the 29th of April 2021 Tavita took his last breath and with that our hearts. If you had the pleasure of knowing Tavita you will know just how difficult this is for his family, friends and all who loved him.

"We are wanting to raise as much as we can to help Karika's family with funeral costs and getting our boy home."

The page also featured a quote believed to have previously come from Mr Karika: "For real doe, you gotta dance before the music is over and live before yo life is over (sic)".

More than A$10,000 had been raised by Saturday.

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